Aptitude vs. apt-get

clay weber claydoh at midmaine.com
Thu Aug 13 21:13:36 BST 2009

Steven Vollom wrote:
> What are the differences between the two?  I typed in sudo apt-get install 
> updates 

If you typed in EXACTLY 'sudo apt-get install updates', then you WILL 
get something wrong as the syntax and command for what you are doing is 

when using apt, the command syntax is this:
'sudo apt-get <do-some-action> <some-packagename>'

so in the command you used above, you are telling apt to install a 
package with the name 'updates', which of course does not exist.

so, some apt commands to remember:

sudo apt-get update (no 'S') will update the package list and look for 

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade will install updated packages

sudo apt-get install <name-of-package> will install said package you specify

This is somewhat simplified as there are many more options that can be 
used, but for daily use these 3 are basically all you need most of the 
time if you choose the command-line method.

But really, without a better understanding of file paths and proper 
syntax, Synaptic or KPackageKit are much better suited for you. Baby 
steps are better. Get a complete handle on one thing before jumping 
somewhere else.

clay weber

and did not get the response I expected.  Then I typed in sudo
> aptitude and got what I expected.  I thought they were pretty much the same.  
> Was I wrong?  Additionally, while I am learning this process, I try to use 
> kdesudo most of the time, but when installing new applications I usually use 
> sudo apt-get.  I realize that kdesudo is for GUI aps, so that part is not 
> confusing.  Yet sudo apt-get usually works for GUI's as well, I believe.  I 
> have used aptitude the least, but have it installed, and in the case of 
> updates and safe-upgrades it seem to work the best.  Don't bother if this is 
> too stupid a question, I would just like to make a permanent memory of the 
> differences.  I suspect I will learn this in time anyway.  Thanks!
> Steven

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